UNIONISM AND FLEXIBLE PRODUCTION IN THE AUTOMOTIVE SECTOR: COOPTATION AND INSTITUTIONAL FRAGMENTATION IN SOUTH-FLUMINENSE REGION

Pedro Luiz Maitan Filho Ana Lucia Guedes About the authors

ABSTRACT

Trade unions of automotive workers lead, in recent decades, discussions about the expansion of the flexible production model and, concomitantly, an enlargement of deregulated working conditions in subsidiaries of automakers in south-fluminense region. Research on the institutional fragmentation of trade union centrals, the influence of corporate lobbying, and the co-optation of regional syndicalism in political arrangements have enabled a transversal dialogue between researchers from different countries those who have hosted the automotive regime since the second half of the 20th century. Delimited to a region distant from the largest industrial centers in Brazil, the article intends to deepen discussions about the performance of trade unions in regions industrialized from the spatial redistribution of the automakers in national territory. The results produced by the interviews, with the professionals of the subsidiary, are organized in three subcategories based on the literature review: (a) relationship between union activity and the regional delimitation; (b) divergence of guidelines between the metallurgical union and specific issues of the automotive industry, and (c) political use of the union through co-optation. The results show, predominantly, damages to collective agreements and on working conditions; impression that the professional profile of the union is out of line with the demands of the subsidiary; and suspicions about the negotiations involving union and the company. These aspects suggest analytical generalizations of qualitative research in the south-fluminense region for other subsidiaries in automotive greenfields, especially in the identification of mechanisms that disperse the institutional representation of unions in the automotive industry.

Keywords:
Labor; Labor Union; Flexible Production; Automotive Industry

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